Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 2011 Brown Bag: The Set Up

Let the Brown Bag posts (finally) begin!  

After some debate in my head, I decided that updating you all on how the October Brown Bag (the very first one ever) went will be better in small doses.  And I thought I'd go ahead and start with all the fun bits about set up and decorations.  Let's begin!

Note: All photos (unless otherwise noted) are used with permission courtesy of Belle Photography.  Thank you so much for taking all these wonderful pictures, Noelle!

Ye olde Crib Chalkboard Easel finally got to come out of its hiding place in the basement.  :)
This fun, cheery sign greeted all of the guests as they came in.
Hopefully my really nice neighbors didn't mind having their door blocked off for the night.

Also, please note my really excellent drawing of a bow.
Contrary to popular (Olivia's) belief, it is not a butterfly.

Next up, the sign-in table!
Complete with name tags, the basket-o-prizes (more on that later), and the jar where everyone entered to win the sweet prizes.

Also, I just have to tell you guys that the little sign that says, "Welcome!  Please wear a name tag"
was probably my favorite thing I made for the October Brown Bag.

Scrap booking type crafts are not my forte and I was really pleased with myself about how it turned out.
Small victories, guys.  Small victories.

Right next to the sign-in table was the table full of the November Brown Bag goodies.  Tempting?  :)

Here you see my demo table.
Complete with cutting supplies, sewing machine, and makeshift ironing station.

Ironing on a big folded-up piece of flannel works great, by the way.

Little miss Ruby Lou joined me there along with Olivia's friend's little button-up shirt.

And I just noticed when I was looking through these pictures that the bows propped up against my sewing machine match Ruby Lou.  Totally not planned.

See?  Bows really do work well on boys too.

Despite my plans to put everything on the piano, this is what actually ended up there.

All of the lovely Brown Bags all lined up, full of goodies, and ready to go home with guests.
A jar for people to enter to win a prize if they brought something they had made to share/show off.
And, down on the bottom there, a row of fun little cards.

One card for each of the October Brown Bag sponsors.
I made a ton of extra bows ahead of time, so each of the sponsors got a little card with a bow clipped on.

Brown Bag would not be the same without great sponsors.
Each one deserved a little something special and I was glad to give them just that.
It was really fun to give these cards away and watch people's faces light up.

Each guest made 2 Simple Bows that night.
One went in their pocket.
The other got clipped onto a Brown Bag.
Then everyone got to choose a Brown Bag with somebody else's bow.
And take it home.

It was so fun!

*photo taken my me

Here is our awesome green couch.

Okay, I guess this picture doesn't have a whole lot to do with the October Brown Bag.
Except that it is proof that my living room was clean for the event.
And people enjoyed sitting here all night just chatting and munching on goodies.

*photo taken my me

These fun hanging garlands were inspired by this Martha Stewart project I saw on Pinterest.
Maybe someday I'll be rad and do them in gold,
but this time around my friend Alice and I made them out of brown craft paper
(that I bought in a huge roll at Home Depot for like $8.00)
and Alice's pretty Amy Butler paper.

Usually my TV sits in that big open space.
During Brown Bag it hosted the snack food.
(As opposed to the dessert food.)

*photo taken my me
I love my vintage red lantern.
Nestled in next to it is the jar where people cast their votes for which snack food they liked best.

To make voting easy and to keep the food owners annonymous,
guests chose a toothpick flag or circle with a number on it to label the food item they brought to share.

Then everyone could sample the tasty food at their leisure and cast their votes for their favorites.

Also, there is a rock.  I don't know where it came from, but I'm pretty sure we've had that rock our entire marriage.

*photo taken my me
 Aside from my classy gold chandelier,
the kitchen was equipped with an ironing station, a cutting station, and the dessert table.*

*Minus desserts in this picture since I took the picture before guests arrived.
(More on all the scrumptious food in another post.)

*photo taken my me
The cutting station in the kitchen.
Exciting, no?

Also, that white pompom has been hanging there
since a party we had this summer
on the 4th of July.

Probably it will stay there until we move.
It's just pretty, okay?

Alice and Laura happily working away on their bows in one corner of the basement.
(Actually, Laura was working on bows.  Alice was down there helping people.  Thanks Alice!)

Downstairs was the sweat shop.
Seven sewing machines, four cutting mats, and three irons (one ironing board) down there.
It was a busy place.
And it got a little warm.

Over in the other corner of the basement, Kelsey is really excited about sewing bows.
Britney snips some threads and Whitney (back to the camera) cuts her bow pieces.
Right before guests started to arrive I was looking everything over one more time.
And I realized that there were going to be threads all over the place with only one tiny trash can down there.
So I quickly made some impromptu trash bags for each sewing station.

Just grabbed some extra Brown Bags (empty lunch bags),
folded down the tops to keep the bags open,
wrote "Trash" on the front of each bag,
and then taped one bag next to each sewing machine.

They were fast, cheap, easy, and they worked wonderfully.
At the end of the night all the loose threads were tidily collected in the trash bags.
Instead of being all over my floor.
(Double bonus since we still haven't bothered to buy a vacuum.)

Alright, that's all for this post!
More Brown Bag goodness to come!


Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

how fun! It all looks so great...I wish I could come! Love your green couch too, and your plate collection-awesome! more pics please about your thrifting treasures!

Kendra said...

Awesome work! Such a great setup!

shannon said...

What a fun idea, to be crafting with a group of some of your favorites!

Lisa Lou said...

So cute and I loved getting a little tour of your pad.

Emily said...

I SOOO wish I had been there. Everything looks amazing and perfect! Also, your apartment is so cute! I love the way you decorated. I need to hang up our license plates - I love that idea!